News – continuous – reports – commentary – bulletins – NBC Radio – August 11, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound COllection
August 11, 1945 – another day of waiting while negotiations continued. The forces of diplomacy and a seemingly endless procession of proposals and counter-proposals between Washington, London, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo all leading up to a final agreement.
From Tokyo: Japan’s War Cabinet voted unanimously to sue for peace. However, the allies had demanded an unconditional surrender, and the Japanese document included a stipulation that Emperor Hirohito must continue as the country’s ruler. The issue was discussed among representatives of the U.S., Britain, China and Russia, with the latter two nations opposed to agreeing to any condition. A secret response was sent to the Japanese. For the first time in weeks, no bombers attacked cities on the Japanese mainland.
Meanwhile, a report came that 30% of Nagasaki was destroyed with the second atomic bomb earlier in the week. Its entire industrial area was reported leveled.
A radio Tokyo broadcast heard in Chungking reported there had been “disturbances” when the first broadcasts were given of the conditional surrender offer. The disturbances were reportedly suppressed and no other details were given.
Tokyo also reported the entire Kwantung area, extending southward from Manchuria and west of Korea had been placed under a state of siege and marshal law had been imposed to “prevent traitorous acts”.
The following is an excerpt from the text of the Japanese Domei Agency broadcast as recorded by the Associated Press from an English-language wireless transmission Friday to the United States:
“Demarche First: Japanese Government Friday addressed following communications to Swiss and Swedish Governments respectively for transmission to the United States, Great Britain, China and Soviet Union: In obedience to the gracious command of his majesty, the Emperor who ever anxious to enhance the cause of world peace desires earnestly to bring about an early termination of hostilities with a view to saving mankind from the calamities to be imposed upon them by further continuation of the war, the Japanese Government asked several weeks ago the Soviet Government with which neutral relations then prevailed to render good office in restoring peace visavis the enemy powers. UNFORTUNATELY these efforts in the interest of peace having Government in conformity with tha august wish of his majesty to restore the general peace and desiring to put an end to the untold sufferings entailed by war as quickly as possible have decided upon the following: The Japanese Government is ready to accept the terms enumerated in the joint declaration which was issued at Potsdam on July 26, 1945 (by) the heads of the governments of the United States, Great Britain and China and later subscribed by the Soviet Government with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of his majesty as a sovereign ruler the Japanese Government hopes sincerely that (At this point the Japanese station went off the air. A later broadcast completed the sentence thus:) The Japanese Government hopes sincerely that this understanding is warranted and desire keenly that an explicit indication to that effect will be speedily forthcoming..”
And that was how August 11th went; a sea of proposals and counter-proposals as broadcast continuously by NBC Radio in this one-hour clip.